Senate Finance Committee assesses gov’t initiatives for industry growth and job generation

Key officials of two government agencies testified before the Senate Finance Committee on their insights regarding the country’s potential to be a hub of industrialization. 

Officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) gave key points before the Senate Finance Committee on how the country can stimulate local industries as major multinational corporations like Honda and Wells Fargo announced the shuttering of their Philippine operations.

The hearing was conducted to tackle Senate Resolution No. 319, which called for an investigation into the job-generating efforts of the government as specified in the 2020 budget.

In the hearing presided by Senate Finance Chairperson Sonny Angara, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, and Information and Communications Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic addressed their plans to make the Philippine industries more competitive. Both agencies insisted that the country needs to improve its technology and infrastructure to be better equipped in competing with industrial economies worldwide.

In the agency’s statement, DTI insisted that despite the abundance in manpower, the country needs to enhance its creative and technological industries through promoting and addressing key hindrances such as technological advancement and infrastructure.

“We have the potential, the human capacity is there, but we need all this new technology that should allow us to leapfrog our capabilities and optimize our potential”, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

For its part, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) said that they are formulating plans along with the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry to promote the ease of doing business and training personnel for skills development. The agency is also identifying twenty (20) new cities to become business process outsourcing (BPO) hubs.

“We are at the forefront of helping the Anti-Red Tape Authority push the central business portal and the unified employee reporting system,” DICT Undersecretary Caintic said.

Senator Angara, the chairperson of the Finance Committee, called the hearing to assess the roadmaps of different government agencies which would help the country elevate from a consumer-based economy into a self-sustaining one. At the end of the hearing, the Senator urged DTI to outline plans to help other industries, like the film industry, which can help generate job opportunities for Filipinos.

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